The Brain Index is an interactive digital installation in the public lobby of the Renzo Piano-designed Jerome L. Greene Science Center at Columbia University.
Conceived by Laura Kurgan and Mark Hansen of the Center for Spatial Research, the piece combines art, science, data, storytelling and information design, and invites visitors to consider the brain from new perspectives and to explore the current research of leading neuroscientists working upstairs in the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute.
The purpose of the installation is to engage the public, capture their imagination, encourage wonder and reward curiosity by vividly communicating complex brain science and why it matters. Stories by individual researchers sharing their work in pushing the boundaries of neuroscience are told through broadly accessible interactives that combine narrative text and illustrations, information design, laboratory simulations, and research artifacts.
The floor-to-ceiling white LED canvas flies the viewer through different large-scale visualization models of the brain while kinetic, door-sized high-resolution LCD's track, highlight and visually detail the parts of the brain that relate to the research being introduced. At key moments in the choreography, the tracking screens descend to the lobby visitors to engage with them through interactive research stories exploring cognition, sensory perception, decision making, learning and memory, addiction and reward, neural networks, and DNA sequencing.
Working under the project leadership of Technomedia, AV&C was part of a world-class team, that also included Tait Towers. AV&C led the project’s UX/IX design, scientific visualization, illustration and software development. Technomedia designed, engineered & installed all of the display components, including the unique white LED system, and tapped Tait to handle the robotic aspects of this groundbreaking piece.
AV&C + Vincent Houzé rejoined forces in 2016 to create phases - a new kinetic light and sound installation premiered at the Day for Night festival December 17th & 18th, 2016 in Houston, TX.
Exploring light as a kinetic sculptural medium, phases is composed of robotic mirrors that scatter a kaleidoscope of projected beams around a circular scrim enclosed space filled with a generative musical score.
21 motorized mirrors are arranged in a triangular assembly, and mounted overhead in the center of a 30' diameter circular space with scrim walls. Real-time generative graphics are created by algorithms that also control the choreography of the mirrors, and trigger parts of the procedural soundtrack. Precise control over the mirrors allows focusing all the light beams on a single point, or dramatically sweeping patterns 360 degrees across the scrim walls of the room.
The installation is experienced from several vantage points. At a distance, the beams travel well beyond the circular space, extending hundreds of feet into the surrounding volume. On the scrim walls, the projected patterns resolve out of the beams and are revealed as coherent visual imagery. Inside the scrim perimeter visitors can look directly up into the mirror array, where the light-folding sculptural object becomes a glittering hub between light sources and destinations.
The live, evolving soundtrack is triggered via the interplay of the mirror movements and projected animation. A cycling array of low frequency phrases, echo laden notes and stochastic percussion create a mechanical and precise soundtrack tightly tied to the choreography of the sculpture. The multi-channel soundtrack is spatialized throughout the installation allowing precise placement of sounds around the 360 degree sound field.
AV&C created a suite of custom real-time software to bring to life ESI's transformative design for the lobbies of Beacon Capital Partners' Washington, DC landmark office building, Terrell Place.
From seasonal cherry trees, to abstract color play, to festive particles and historical collages, our generative software responds to occupants and visitors as they transit the interconnected lobby spaces.
The space's sensitivity comes from a network of thermal imaging cameras, which track the waves of in and outbound commuters, as well as the interactions of individuals in relation to the media surfaces.
Tight synchronization across all of the diffused LED canvases creates a satisfying visual stacking effect that seamlessly follows visitors as they move through the lobby's many portals.
Cadillac's move to downtown NYC directly engages the carmaker with the district's influential creative community, and Cadillac House is the physical embodiment of the brand's cultural alignment with the world of design, fashion and art.
Gensler's brand and architecture studios envisioned an open, multi-purpose space, with tightly integrated technology that materializes the brand's design language. A colonnade of glass, mirror and digital displays greets visitors at the sidewalk and continues indoors, leading to a brand wall at the end of a runway populated sometimes by cars, sometimes by fashion models.
AV&C designed and created a generative media software system that takes photos, videos, and color selections, along with a myriad of layout and behavior selections to create on brand animations composed for the 18 columns and back wall in the space.
The system refreshes Cadillac House daily, providing an evergreen media program for the space can be scheduled for daily use and all of the special events throughout the year.
ESI Design's epic activation of the lobby atrium of the Wells Fargo Center required a rule based, procedural media environment capable of filling the 7-story tall ribbons with pre-rendered and live-generated visualizations connecting the building, its occupants, and the city of Denver.
AV&C's custom software platform collects local data and social feeds, and choreographs the massive canvases throughout the day via rules-based scheduling.
Season and time of day are reflected in generative 3D forests, while imagery collected from the local social media community is composed into macro-imagery celebrating the city's stunning mountain landscapes.
For the inaugural Day for Night festival, AV&C’s Vincent Houzé, Stephen Baker and David Bianciardi created lull – an immersive and contemplative installation that explores the liminal state between conscious and unconscious.
In the center of an unlit 6,000-square-foot warehouse, waves of liquid light undulate wistfully across the walls of a semitransparent triangular structure. Simple rules shape this ever-evolving animation, giving rise to organic abstracted patterns with complex behavior that teeter between order and chaos. Immersed in layers of distant melodies that reverberate in sync with the surging fluid, as well as in a dense plume of fog that extends and blurs the light within, visitors dip in and out of the sculpture as if in a dream.
AV&C collaborated with Hush Studios and Skylab Architects as the technical director on this series of award winning interactive media installations for the 2012 US Track & Field Olympic Trials.
AV&C collaborated with Nike and Tangram to create a retail installation in celebration of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015. Shoppers geared up in new Nike footwear, and entered our interactive tunnel to experience the product benefits by conduct soccer trials and exercises including dribbling, passing, and shooting.
During the trials, sensor and motion sensitive visuals reflected and responded to the guests' actions and rewarded successful shots on goal. Between trials, the physical 3D canvas of LED archways bubbled with energy as a generative product backdrop.
AV&C teamed with Hush, Mother, Zaha Hadid Architects and Related Companies to design and create an innovative experience showcasing Zaha Hadid’s entry to New York City – a signature residential project at 520 West 28th Street.
Visitors to the by-appointment sales and marketing gallery are enveloped in a physical environment that draws deeply on Hadid's aesthetic and which forms a complex canvas upon which a series of media experiences unfolds.
Immersive curved projections, a responsive architectural model and a interactive glass table combine with choreographed sound design and lighting transitions, and are controlled by a sophisticated agent interface to seamlessly inform and inspire potential buyers.
AV&C designed and implemented all technology and software aspects of the gallery, under the creative leadership of Hush.
AV&C collaborated with karlssonwilker to create "Slice", a 30-foot-long sculpture, clad in LEDs, that allowed NeoCon 2015 expo attendees to interact with patterns abstracted from Wolf Gordon wallcoverings while riding the escalator to the show floor. Wolf Gordon, in embracing generative and user created content, intends to collect the patterns created with the installation for use in future products.
Visitor movement captured by a machine vision system creates data inputs resulting in color and motion shifts within the patterns. AV&C's custom software collects the inputs, creates the patterns, and drives over 15,000 individual points of light.
AV&C has recently completed another spectacular architectural media collaboration with ESI Design - the transformation of the entry sequence of I.M. Pei's iconic 177 Huntington in Boston.
Employing custom low resolution LED fixtures reflecting off the Brutalist concrete allowed the team to honor the architect's intent and materiality while introducing dynamic color and motion to the space. Local weather and other real time feeds are reinterpreted by AV&C's software into soft glowing motion that animates the new lobby seating area.
In the elevator lobby, thin vertical strips of high resolution LED visualize realtime market, cultural and weather information in response to the travel and opening of the elevator doors.
AV&C's custom software handles all functions from large canvas media playout, creates data driven generative content, and provides end-user facing content management and scheduling.
AV&C collaborated with our friends at Hush to create an engaging multiplayer interactive blurring the boundaries between realtime mobile gaming and big screen experiences for Google, and showcased at I/O and Zeitgeist 2013.
AV&C were responsible for creating the table software, and all technology aspects of the installation.
The slot car race magically transitioned between shared table to individual phones and tablets seamlessly, creating a shared environment that was greater than the sum of its parts.
Doug Aitken brought AV&C in to collaborate on the design, programming and installation of this signature architectural media artwork, commissioned by the Wright family for the facade of the Seattle Art Museum.
Described by the artist as ‘a digital urban earthwork’, the system algorithmically recombines hundreds of hours of 4k footage shot for the piece in the Seattle environs, using weather information, pedestrian movement, tides, and other real-time data sources to choreograph the Museum’s facade into a constantly evolving media experience.
“A love letter to Seattle” – The New York Times
AV&C worked with ESI to transform the facade, entry passage, and lobby of Beacon Capital Partners' 221 Main Street, San Francisco office property.
This mixed resolution architectural media element serves many functions as it transitions from vertical backdrop for the building signage, to a dynamic passageway ceiling, and then through the curtain wall into a high resolution lobby wall.
Weather data from San Francisco's neighborhoods, famous for their distinct and variable microclimates, is dynamically paired with stunning imagery, and displayed alongside whimsical but practical "what to wear" animations.
AV&C's custom software handles all functions from large canvas media playout, creates data driven generative content, and provides end-user facing content management and scheduling.
We collaborated again with Doug Aitken, this time on the design, development, and installation of custom GPS and music-driven visualization software to drive an LED display that spanned the entire train for his Station to Station festival, traveling across the US in the summer and fall of 2013.
Wired called it ‘A tech-fueled, all-night, glow-in-the-dark, cross-country. pop-art train ride.’ Sounds about right.
Mother invited AV&C to contribute technical design and direction and show control systems to the creation of this one-of-a-kind temporary installation at NYC's Pier 57.
Designed as a venue to launch Windows 8, and the Microsoft Surface, the installation focused on a projection mapped 1/4 acre model of Manhattan, featuring hundreds of Surface tablets embedded in buildings, and providing interactive moments for visitors exploring the model.
Google's acquisition of FireBase was celebrated at Google I/O 2016 with a sculptural digital installation that visualized data sets from the platform. Alex Czetwertynski brought AV&C in to collaborate on designing the form and visualizations, and to code the realtime software that generated the visuals over the course of the 3 day event.
"Whenever we go around the globe, we will lead first with our story and bring the people into the best Under Armour experience possible before we ask them to try our performance apparel and footwear."
- Kevin Plank, CEO, Under Armour
Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank tasked our friends at Hush to introduce the brand to China.
Instead of a typical retail approach with a glass facade and mannequins in the window. Hush, Marc Thorpe Design, and AV&C created a pure brand experience, including an explosive 270-degree panoramic projection-mapped film at the end of a shock-and-awe entry tunnel.
Victoria’s Secret asked our frequent collaborators, Apologue Studio, to conceive of innovative approaches to a global rollout of architectural scale media systems in national flaships in key markets, including London, UK and Vancouver, BC.
AV&C took on the technical direction, design, and engineering of large scale media systems and developed custom generative & playback software, controlled by a rules-based algorithm and content management system, to create infinite content variation on these showpiece canvases.
Our groundbreaking system replaces the impractical traditional digital signage model of hand-created playlists for each hour of each day, and the recurring cost of large format content production with a storytelling interface which automatically recombines existing media with procedural content and transitions, according to simple rule based storytelling.
We were thrilled to collaborate with Coach and Rem Koolhaas’ OMA on new concept shop first rolled out at Macy’s Herald Square NYC flagship. AV&C's media surfaces and software transform interactively and on demand, doing double duty as storytelling canvases and shoppers’ mirrors.
Slanted Studios produced some of our favorite content for the piece and has shared a great video of the project.
AV&C collaborated with Batwin+Robin and Wasserman Media Group to create Verizon PowerHouse and related activations for Super Bowl XLVIII.
PowerHouse, located in a 16,000 sqft temporary structure in NYC's Bryant Park, was the main attraction anchoring the NFL's "Super Bowl Boulevard" takeover of midtown Manhattan in the days leading up to the big game.
Thousands of visitors a day streamed through the doors, created a biometric profile, and then used it to unlock a series of personalized interactive experiences, which were then seamlessly made available via mobile, as digital mementos and ready-to-share social content.
The success of the activation has lead to Verizon PowerHouse being a key feature of subsequent sporting championships: in Phoenix for SuperBowl XLIX, in Santa Clara for SuperBowl 50, and during the 2014 IndyCar championships in Indianapolis. ChargeUp, a biometric phone charging valet station originally developed by AV&C for PowerHouse has been a staple of Verizon's fan activations in major stadiums for the 2014 and 2015 NFL seasons, serving hundreds of thousands of consumers.
We contributed a 160' long by 10' tall high-resolution interactive cinemagraph wall for Mother NY's launch of the Phllip Lim 3.1 collection for Target. AV&C designed and developed custom software to allow this 6 x 4k content come to life with dozens of interactive moments for the guests to explore, and supplied the 3.9mm LED wall and interaction systems.
From physical interactives, to social, to machine vision, Mother curated a series of whimsical moments that allowed guests to experience the day to night story of the collection in a fun and engaging way.
case study video credit: Matias Menendez / Mother
In celebration of IBM's centennial, AV&C joined RAA's team to design the digital aspects of the Think Exhibit first showcased at NYC's Lincoln Center, and later installed the Innovations Pavilion at Epcot.
Visitors stroll along a large outdoor data visualization wall that leads to a forest of video columns displaying a short film across each face. A touch interactive surface at each video column allows guests to explore in depth the themes of progress and innovation.
AV&C supported ESI Design with technical and design consulting in the creation of the Beacon, a data driven sculpture that tells the real-time story of how the PNC headquarters uses and conserves energy each day.
ESI Design retained AV&C for systems design towards this incredible project – a World Expo pavilion consisting entirely of an LED clad cube - a stunning architectural media container housing an interpretive environment showcasing Shanghai past, present and future. The installation included reactive bamboo fields, and a 360-degree crowd interactive theater in which participants control the LED cube visualizations.
AV&C designed and installed the show control systems which transform this 100 year old carousel, located at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge within an acrylic pavilion by Ateliers Jean Nouvel, into a night time shadow play visible from both sides of the river.
It won the Travel + Leisure Design Award for ‘Best Public Place’, 2012
AV&C joined ESI in designing the systems and interactive software for this groundbreaking sales experience lab for AT&T's Adworks group, and then integrated all the technology systems during the implementation phase, alongside the Mill and MC2.
The Adworks Media Lab showcased and physically embodied AT&T's B2B capabilities in bringing cutting-edge consumer data insights to their advertising clients' campaigns. Visitors to the Lab interact in real time with consumer behavior data from AT&T's cable TV, ISP, and mobile carrier business units, to understand how best to create a meaningful and impactful campaign.
AV&C collaborated with RAA and Theodore Gray on the design and implementation of this unique slanted media column for Philadelphia's Chemical Heritage Foundation, created to depict a fresh and ever-changing interpretation of the periodic table of the elements.
The large, canted canvas was designed to have detailed information at its base for visitors in immediate proximity, while elements that traveled up to higher portions became less detailed and larger, as suited for viewing from a greater distance, within the gallery, and on the street beyond. An interactive version of the program is available for visitors on the back side of the column.
AV&C worked with Shvo Group and Zaya on the design and implementation of a ground breaking on-island sales center for this luxury residential resort development.
Potential buyers were helicoptered to the remote island where they viewed the development's master plan projected downward onto an oval surface. Touch points along the map surround allowed the presenter to highlight aspects of the island, while life size 3D and rendered content related to the selection expanded along the surrounding walls.
In a water-filled space, projectors, mounted under the board-walk, delivered interactive rear projected images of the development’s Water Villas.
A central challenge solved by our team’s approach was to accommodate wide ranging scales of appointment, from royal visitors with entourages, to small teams of investors, to a couple and their advisor.